The auction process is a key part of the secondary art and antiques market.

Firms of auctioneers usually specialise in a number of fields such as jewellery, ceramics, paintings, Asian art or coins but many also hold general sales where the goods available are not defined by a particular genre and are usually lower in value.

Auctioneers often provide other services such as probate and insurance valuations.

Sotheby’s Global Fine Art team

Movers & Shakers: the latest art and antiques appointments including a shake-up in Sotheby's fine art team

15 July 2024

Changes to Sotheby's Global Fine Art leadership team feature among the latest recruitment, promotions and business updates


Storr salts bear similarities to the Pembroke Service

15 July 2024

A striking pair of William IV silver open salts by Paul Storr (London 1835) came for sale at Chorley’s (28.2% buyer’s premium inc VAT) latest biannual sale of Fine Jewellery, Silver, Gold and Watches.


Bidders spot Worcester rarities in third slice of a lifetime collection on sale

15 July 2024

A surprise at a Hampshire saleroom on June 18 came in the form of a fine pair of early 19th century Chamberlain Worcester ‘Regent China’ cabinet cups in the French Empire style.


Illustration done on a grand scale: fantastic fish watercolours from naturalist Sarah Bowdich Lee

15 July 2024

Naturalist produced a fish-focused work featuring nearly 3000 original watercolours across 50 copies


Magpie picked up FA Cup winner's medal in 1924

15 July 2024

An FA Cup winner’s medal belonging to a Newcastle United goalkeeper who won the trophy with the Magpies 100 years ago sold for £7800 on June 27.


Spoon by the famous Haslewood silversmithing family comes to sale as a rare Norwich survivor

15 July 2024

A rare example of Norfolk Charles I silver – a seal-top spoon made by the patriarch of the famous Haslewood silversmithing dynasty – sold for £3600 at a recent sale of Silver and Objects of Vertu at Chiswick Auctions (26% buyer’s premium) in London.


Gold medal sold at auction marks GB football success in 1908 Olympics

15 July 2024

The 1908 Olympic Games in London included duels with wax bullets, tug of war and the world’s oldest Olympic champion.


Heart and sold: Henry VIII spoon impresses at Canterbury auction

15 July 2024

A Henry VIII silver and parcel gilt apostle spoon, stamped to the stem with a distinctive maker’s mark of a heart in a conforming heart and dated London 1532, caused quite a stir when it appeared at Canterbury Auction Galleries (25% buyer’s premium).


Mineral water bottle pops up to break record

15 July 2024

A new record for any English bottle was set at specialist saleroom BBR Auctions in Elsecar, South Yorkshire.


More Suffragette hunger strike medals appear at auction

15 July 2024

A medal awarded to a Suffragette for going on hunger strike hammered down for £17,000 on June 7 at Bonhams (plus 28% buyer’s premium).


Silver: Promising signs for market as metal prices rebound

15 July 2024

The market has certainly been challenging but recent results allied with metal prices give encouraging grounds for optimism


Intriguing timeline of a rediscovered Tompion clock

15 July 2024

Bonhams’ Fine Clocks sale in London on July 3 included a table clock by Thomas Tompion (1639-1713) that came for sale via an unorthodox route.


Market for distinctive Neapolitan Nativity figures is full of life

15 July 2024

Bumper collection of the 18th century creations sold at auction 42 years ago re-emerges in south London


The Japanese prints spoils of a seasoned bidder

15 July 2024

Collector never seemed to give up in a battle to win more magnificent ukiyo-e works


Raise a toast to transatlantic and Toon tankards on offer

15 July 2024

Dreweatts’ (26/25% buyer’s premium) Fine Jewellery, Silver, Watches and Objects of Vertu sale of June 18 offered only 35 lots of silver but all were good quality and many rare in form.


Aubrey Williams price hits new high

15 July 2024

Records have tumbled in recent years for works by Guyanese artist Aubrey Williams (1926-90), reflecting a growing appreciation for the painter’s output and his contribution to Modern British art.


Church sells gift from its opening

15 July 2024

As previewed in ATG No 2648, Bonhams’ Fine Decorative Arts sale at New Bond Street on July 5 featured this rare Elizabethan silver-gilt tankard, London 1592, with maker’s mark 'IB' possibly for John Brodie (Brode), or John Bottomley.


Scottish art success at auction despite lack of single-owner collection big hitters

15 July 2024

Successful Scottish art sale suggests significant single-owner groups do not have to be a vital component

Gavel Spotlight

Charity sales: should buyer’s premium be charged?

15 July 2024

Bonhams has clarified its stance on buyer’s premium charged for charity sales after a dealer claimed the firm benefited from fees in a recent auction.


Poetry work that awakened the genius of John Keats

15 July 2024

Only 29 books from the library of John Keats are recorded - among them a 1679 printing of the collected works of the Elizabethan poet Edmund Spenser given to him by the artist Joseph Severn (1793-1879).